Cast & Crew
Gianna Maria Canale
After the body of French intelligence officer Robert Cabot is found on a North African beach, Parisian chief Col. Fornier hires American detective Charles Stark to take over Cabot's investigation, to find 100,000,000 francs in gold that has been missing since it was transported in 1942. He explains that Sgt. Emile Touchard is the sole survivor of the heist and that he can be distinguished by a missing thumb on his right hand. Stark is then sent undercover to Saudi Arabia. At a brief stop in Cairo, Stark runs into Mike Canelli, an American friend headed for Algiers, and mentions that he is searching for a thumbless man. In Algiers, Mike is stopped and taken to Capt. Akhim Bey, the Prefect of Police, who tells Mike about the robbery and says that he was picked up only because he served in Algiers in 1942. Bey then intrigues Mike by mentioning that the man he wants has no thumb. At his hotel, Mike is approached by a man who says they must talk. Later, the man dons Arab clothing, gives Mike a key to room 24 at the Hotel des Fleurs and whispers "Remember Company C." Mike then goes to the hotel room, where he finds a young woman bathing. Mike exits the bathroom and pours himself a drink, then passes out. Meanwhile, the man in Arab clothing goes to a shop, makes a record and asks the proprietor to deliver it to Yvonne Le Beaux. The man is then stabbed to death in the alley. The next morning, Mike comes to and finds that the woman in the tub, Yvonne, has been murdered. When another woman enters the room, Mike runs away. Back in his own hotel room, a playing card is pushed under the door with a note telling Mike to visit fortune teller Princess Zahruda. Zahruda leads Mike to Major Le Blanc, head of French Intelligence in Algiers. Thinking that Mike is Stark, Le Blanc reveals more details about the robbery, then says that the man in the Arab dress was Touchard. Le Blanc's men learned about the recording, but have not located it. Later, at Bey's office, Mike is shown to Lorraine Belogne, the other woman at the hotel, but she does not identity him. On the way to his hotel, Mike is approached by Professor Crespi, who says that he also is trying to find the gold. Later, Mike visits the Algiers Club and thanks Lorraine, who sings there. She explains that she was a friend of Yvonne and knew that Mike was not the murderer. She also says that she knows about the missing gold. Club owner Basil Constantine, Yvonne's partner, offers Mike a bribe to leave Algiers by instructing him to place a bet on the club's roulette wheel. Mike wins 200,000 francs, but tells Constantine that he plans to stay. As Mike and Lorraine dance, she tells him that Bey has just arrived and helps Mike to sneak away. She then drives Mike to her large house, and while she is making coffee, he searches for the record. Although she is annoyed at this, she kisses Mike, who reveals that Touchard was a wartime friend of his. She tells him that her friend Yvonne was Touchard's sweetheart. Lorraine and Constantine both felt that Yvonne would reveal where the money was, but she did not. When Mike leaves the house, he is grabbed and beaten by two men, who leave him in a ditch. The next morning, Mike is questioned by Bey, who says that he had not gone to the club the night before. Now suspicious of Lorraine, Mike goes to her house. She says that she had nothing to do with the beating, but admits lying about Bey and says that she and Constantine have the record, which Yvonne gave to her for safekeeping. She knows that Constantine has listened to the recording and is worried that he will cheat her. Following a hunch, Mike goes to a warehouse owned by the French African Transport Company, sees one of the men who beat him up and slugs him. Later, Mike goes to Le Blanc and asks about the transport company. Le Blanc says that a General Dumont is head of the company and Mike tells him that there will be a resolution to the case that night. Just before ten, while Mike and Lorraine are at the club, he gets a call from Le Blanc. While they are talking, Mike hears shots and the line goes dead. Mike then grabs Lorraine and races to her house, which has been ransacked. She thinks that Mike has done it, until Bey appears and says that Constantine was found dead in her pool an hour ago, thus he could not have shot Le Blanc a few minutes before. Meanwhile, Crespi is found hiding in the bathroom. He says that he was looking for the record and Mike, seeing that the professor has used makeup to alter his appearance, tells Bey that Crespi is actually Dumont. After admitting that this is true, the police take Dumont away. Mike is surprised by Dumont's passiveness and begins to think that he has been framed, possibly by Lorraine. He then searches Lorraine's purse and finds the record, which reveals that Dumont was innocent of the theft but "Emile Moreau" was guilty. A shot is now heard and Lorraine smashes the record, screaming that she did not know. Mike drives away just as a knife is thrown at him, and Lorraine is then taken to the warehouse by intruders. Unknown to her, Mike has driven there as well. When he sees a freight train pull out, he jumps on and finds Lorraine, who says that Moreau is in the next car. Moreau then appears, revealing himself to be Le Blanc, saying he had planned the robbery and stored the gold in the walls of the freight car. When Mike pulls the emergency cord, a scuffle ensues and Moreau is killed by approaching police, headed by Bey. A few days later, as Mike and Lorraine are leaving Algiers, they run into Stark. Mike hands him a newspaper article about the case, which Stark throws down in disgust.
Gianna Maria Canale
The film's working titles were Cairo, Cairo Incident and Algiers Ambush. The Italian release title was Avventura ad Algeri. The spelling of some character names was based on spoken dialogue only. Some sources list the character played by Mino Doro as "Major Blanc," but in the film he is called "Major Le Blanc." According to news items, the film was shot entirely on location in Rome. Hollywood Reporter production charts list the film as an "Eros/Lippert" film; Eros Films, Ltd. was the picture's British distributor. Although the Variety review indicates that it had an "all-Italian" cast aside from George Raft, Greek actress Irene Papas portrayed "Yvonne Le Beaux." The film marked Papas' American motion picture debut.
Released in United States Winter December 1953
Released in United States Winter December 1953